Use Dropbox or Google Drive to Sync Your Downloads Folder Not iCloud

 Wed Nov 04, 2020, last updated Thu Mar 24, 2022 -  Jim Deibele

I wrote an article talking about using iCloud to sync your Downloads folder .

So I did that and I found out I didn’t like it. I’m running tight on disk space (I have to cull more photos from Photos, which is taking up the most disk space for me) so Apple is uploading the files in ~/Downloads, then replacing them with an .icloud version. That means that I need to download the file to use it.

Normally there’s not a problem but I found some issues with updating Google Backup and Sync where the installer just never opened. I tried downloading it multiple times, renaming downloaded versions, etc. Nope, nothing. So I ended up changing the ~/Downloads link, rebooting my machine, re-downloading the .DMG file and things are going well.

I changed the ~/Downloads link to ~/Dropbox/Downloads because I have about 8GB of storage on that I’m not using. Most people have more space on to use, so adding a link to ~/Google\ Drive/Downloads instead would be better.

So far this is working out better. For me, things aren’t supposed to stay in ~/Downloads forever. I’m downloading a program update or some pictures I want to keep but need to be moved to the proper place or some documents I need to fill out. None of those are supposed to live in ~/Downloads. And now I basically don’t have to worry about a disk crash losing ~/Downloads.